‘Taking my dogs abroad’ (and why I’ll never do it again!)

23rd June 2017


I have two dogs, Pepper and Tallulah, who have just come back from their first trip abroad, touring northern Europe in a motorhome with my 25yr old daughter and I. We drove over 1,000 miles, saw three countries in 7 days and, for the most part, had a great time. Sadly though, I can honestly say it will be the last time I ever take them on holiday again and here’s why.

Pet Passport Costs

I really didn’t ‘do the maths’ on the whole ‘Pet Passports’ thing, preferring to be swept away by romantic images of my daughter and I, sitting with the dogs outside a Belgium/Dutch/French café (see photo!). Fluffy romantic nonsense of the wrongest type. Here’s the bottom line on costs:


Costs for taking a dog abroad

So, to take one dog on holiday for one week cost me £138.50. I have two dogs. Double that then to £277. Ouch.

To have my nearest Petpals look after my dogs for seven days would have been £210, a saving of £67. (Usually £20 a day per dog but 2nd dog discounted by 50% hence £30 for two dogs for 7 days).

Finding a vet abroadFinding a vet abroad

‘Oh here she goes’ you’re probably thinking. ‘We’ve reached the crux of the matter now…’ Sorry, no!

If you are expecting me to say that finding a vet to administer the tapeworm tablet (between 5 days and 24 hours before our return) was difficult and a factor in my decision not to return to the Continent with my furry friends, you’d be wrong.

Simply open up Google maps, click ‘current location’ and enter ‘vets’ in the ‘search in this area’ box. Bingo. A selection of vets. We did a ring around and found a VAST difference in prices so would recommend you do the same.

What are you paying for?

You are paying for a consultation to check the condition/health of the dog and a tablet based on the dog’s weight. Our Dutch vet was charming and even sent us off with instructions of the prettiest local towns to visit, so no complaints about that part of the process at all.

Hot and bothered

One of the main reasons I wouldn’t take them again was the heat. I was in Holland during that fabulous week,Pepper seeks sanctuary from being tripped over in Le Touquet end of May to beginning of June 2017 when the weather was unusually hot and both my dogs suffered. Not Europe’s fault, not the dogs fault but my fault, I simply didn’t bank on ‘scorchio’ in late May. Being a pug owner I’m usually very aware of temperatures but this one slipped me by.

I honestly feel we dragged them around Europe, watching them get ever so slightly trampled underfoot, albeit between plenty of affection from passers-by, people sitting next to us in restaurants, on trams, busses and even sight-seeing boat trips, who thought it was ‘cute’ we’d bought our dogs away.

Europe from the outside

One other big ‘cons’ of taking your dog with you on holiday is that you are very limited to what you can actually do.

Could we visit the world famous Rijks Museum in Amsterdam? Non. The theatre/ballet/opera? Non. An art exhibition? Go into a windmill? Visit a cheese, clog, beer or chocolate factory? Non, non and more non. All these things are crossed off your list, so essentially if you take your dog abroad, prepare to only see the country from the outside which may be fine, but it’s worth considering if you were planning a city break.

Eurotunnel Pet Passport Check

This part couldn’t have been easier. Huge signs direct you to the doggy check in area, with paw prints on the road just in case the 20ft high bright yellow signs aren’t quite visible enough. They even have a ‘drive through’ section for cars, where you sit in your vehicle, they hand you a microchip scanner, ask you to scan your own dog, check your paper work, stampety stamp and ‘Bon Voyage’, you’re on your way.

Back to Blighty

So that’s it; we’re now home and the dogs have once more taken up residence on the sofa. Despite the recent heat wave, the likelihood of them overheating is zero and the only person who treads on them is me when they get in between me and the fridge.

So honestly, would I take them abroad again? No. I love them to bits but they made it hard work, pretty much exactly the opposite of what a holiday is supposed to be I think? It was expensive and I’m not sure they really enjoyed it either. Next time I go away, they’re off to the local Petpals, or the cool green grass of Granny’s garden, Euro Tunnel will have to scrape by without my annual contribution I’m afraid; I’m sure they’ll survive, at least I know my dogs will!

ENDS                                                                                                                                                             June 2017

For further information about taking your dog abroad: https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/overview

To find your local Petpals please visit: https://www.petpals.com/

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